ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Incidental Music to Macbeth (World Premiere Recording) and The Tempest, Marmion Overture (First Complete Recordings).
Catalogue Number: 08S026
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7331
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: The Macbeth music was for Sir Henry Irving’s landmark 1888 stage production and contains all the surviving music (Sullivan wrote more at rehearsals to Irving’s direction but the performing score and parts were lost in a theatre fire ten years later). What we have here are 20 minutes of pure orchestral music and 3:41 of two choruses; the rest the 54-minute total is Simon Callow speaking parts of Shakespeare which are backed by music. The Tempest consists of 59 minutes of music composed in 1860-62 for Sullivan’s graduation concert at the Leipzig Conservatory - 20 minutes again of pure music, one chorus of 4:34 and the rest narration over background music. The Marmion overture is also early, dating from 1867 and inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s 1808 epic poem; the only previous recording of the work was in a drastically cut version which Sullivan produced to act as an overture to Irving’s 1895 play King Arthur. 2 CDs. No texts. Mary Bevan, Fflur Wyn (sopranos), Simon Callow (speaker), BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra; John Andrews.